Ants, lady beetles and a clear sticky substance on your leaves are good indications that aphids have moved into your garden for a meal.
These small tear-dropped-shaped insects come in a variety of colors.
They use their needle-like mouthparts to suck plant juices, causing leaves to curl, yellow, and brown. Growth can become distorted and stunted when populations and feeding levels are high.
The aphids secrete honeydew, a clear sweet sticky substance that often attracts ants.
And if you see lady beetles, nature has moved in to control this pest. Both the adults and larvae can eat hundreds of aphids in one day.
Start treatment, if needed, with a strong blast of water to dislodge and kill many of the aphids. Trap these pests with a yellow bowl filled with soapy water. If needed, use eco-friendly products like insecticidal soap, horticulture oil, or Neem.
I’m Melinda Myers, check out our website for this and other gardening tips.